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Monday 29 January 2024

New! The Fisheries and Seafood Scheme updates


The Fisheries and Seafood Scheme is expected to re-open in February, providing valuable grants to match-fund projects over the next year.

Since opening in 2021, the scheme has been incredibly successful with £27 million invested in over 1,300 projects supporting England’s catching, aquaculture and processing sectors, as well as projects that are improving the marine environment.

The fund is due to re-open in the coming weeks to deliver its final year allocation and will continue to support projects in a variety of areas, including health and safety, processing and production, partnerships, research and diversification. Port and harbour infrastructure projects should now apply to schemes under the national UK Seafood Fund.

The scheme, administered by MMO on behalf of Defra, delivers investments to safeguard the long-term sustainability, resilience and prosperity of the seafood sector across England.

Through the scheme, MMO has invested in:

More than 800 health and safety related projects providing equipment, PPE, vessel modifications and training courses.

Business diversification and strategic business development plans

Commissioning research.

Aims of the Fisheries and Seafood Scheme

The Fisheries and Seafood Scheme provides financial assistance for projects that support the development of the catching, processing and aquaculture sectors, and for projects that enhance the marine environment. The scheme is available to applicants whose organisation and/or vessels are registered in England.

The scheme will provide funding for a range of projects that deliver the following high-level outcomes:

  • Creating a more sustainable and resilient sector;
  • Boosting the demand for English seafood and accessing new markets;
  • Improving participation through co-design and co-management;
  • Achieving good environmental status through the conservation and restoration of the marine environment;
  • Supporting net zero through reducing emissions within the industry 

New areas of the scheme will be opened for applications for a defined period of time through funding rounds. The dates of these funding rounds will be announced in due course.

Who can apply for funding?

To be eligible for this scheme you must be one of the following:
  • An individual or business engaged within commercial or sea fishing, aquaculture or processing or an organisation or business engaged within recreational sea fishing; A public body or local authority in a local community that has a focus on fishing, aquaculture or processing activities (including trust ports and local authority ports, and public bodies, using funds for environmental improvements or the management of fisheries);
  • A university or research institute;
  • A new entrant to the industry or unemployed individual that could benefit from knowledge or skills in fishing, aquaculture or processing activities. 

You will be required to declare if you have received funding from other Government financial support schemes and, if so, what for. This is to prevent any duplication of funding and to ensure rules around maximum thresholds of support are complied with. If you are an applicant engaged in recreational sea fishing it is suggested that you contact the MMO Grants Team before making your application so that we can best advise you on how to complete your application form whilst additional IT development takes place.

If you are a business, you will need to declare which of the following categories you fall under definitions can be found in the general guidance document

  • micro-entity
  • small business
  • medium-sized business
  • larger enterprise.

You will be required to provide a level of match funding for your project. Please refer to guidance documents to see the latest rates that apply.